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#283457 - 06/30/07 10:38 AM Measures of QDM "success"
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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This is a topic I've wanted to discuss for some time, but didn't really have the data to prove my point. However, as more detailed GPS-collar data is becoming available, I think I can post this with some conviction.

What should be used as a measure of QDM success for a given property? In the traditional sense, herd health indicators, especially deer body weights by age and buck antler development by age has been used, as well as fawn recruitment numbers, buck age structure numbers, sex ratio numbers, etc.

However, all of this is based on the idea that you are looking at the same group of deer that live on a given property from year to year. Now this very well may be the case on very large properties, say of several thousand acres. But what about the small properties, such as those of 1,000 acres or less? And more importantly, what about properties of a square mile (640 acres) or less? How many individual deer are you actually "raising" from birth to death on a property of 640 acres or less? I'll bet the answer is very, very few.

From what I've been seeing of the more detailed long-term GPS-collar information that is becoming available, there appears to be a lot more "shifting" of ranges from birth to death than was originally assumed. This is especially true of bucks. When you consider the Yearling Buck Dispersal (YBD) process, shifting seasonal ranges, and highly variable rut-season ranges for individual bucks, how many of the mature bucks that might be photographed on a 640 acre or smaller property in a given fall season were actually born on that property? I'll bet the answer is near zero. The vast, vast majority of those bucks come from "somewhere else." If that is the case, does the condition of those bucks mean anything about the management of the property? Nope, at least not health-wise.

And although does are more "home-bodies" than bucks, often living their entire lives in their birth range, on smaller properties that have implemented intense doe harvests, from year to year how many of the does seen and harvested from the property have actually lived their entire lives on that property? When small properties hit the doe population hard, reproduction does increase, but if does are not being hit hard on surrounding properties, doe groups from those surrounding properties will shift their range into the managed property to take advantage of the "gaps" in habitat utilization produced by the doe harvests. This means you do have "resident" does born on the managed property, but you also have a considerable number of "immigrant" does that have shifted into the property from surrounding properties as adults. So health conditions of the immigrant does do not provide a measure of herd health from the managed property, and there is no way to tell the difference between a resident doe and an immigrant doe.

So now we have this established "paradigm" of QDM success based on improvements in herd structure and health that may simply not be true on smaller properties. The deer using a particular smaller property during the hunting season--especially the mature deer of both sexes--may not be the product of the local habitat. Many of those deer spent at least some of their life, if not the majority, "somewhere else."

If this is the case, what should be used as a measure of success on smaller properties?
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#283484 - 06/30/07 11:10 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
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Very good and interesting post, BSK.

 Originally Posted By: BSK
What should be used as a measure of QDM success for a given property? In the traditional sense, herd health indicators, especially deer body weights by age and buck antler development by age has been used, as well as fawn recruitment numbers, buck age structure numbers, sex ratio numbers, etc.

However, all of this is based on the idea that you are looking at the same group of deer that live on a given property from year to year. But what about the small properties, such as those of 1,000 acres or less? And more importantly, what about properties of a square mile (640 acres) or less? How many individual deer are you actually "raising" from birth to death on a property of 640 acres or less? I'll bet the answer is very, very few.

I'll guarantee you the answer is almost none on properties of 640 acres of less; and less than 1% of male deer that live past 18 months of age. (Saying this as an average across the Southeast, although there will be some exceptions, say where you have a smaller patch of habitat surrounded by industry & subdivisions. In this case, don't think you could really call these "free-roaming" deer as the surrounding development acts much like a high fence?)


 Originally Posted By: BSK
If this is the case, what should be used as a measure of success on smaller properties?

I wise man once told me,
"Seldom ask a question for which you don't already know the answer."

So, I assume you have at least part of the answer to this question? ;\)

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#283497 - 06/30/07 11:26 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Wes Parrish]
Wes Parrish
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BSK,

Really glad you made this post, as it's of particular interest to me, since most hunters who are able to do any "management" at all are in fact doing it on properties of 640 acres or less.

One thing not mentioned above that also comes into play:
Male deer (somewhere between 6 months & 18 months of age) typically disperse over 1 mile from their birthplace, which would cause most male fawns born on any square mile to nearly always establish a new "home" range outside the square mile (640 acres area) in which they were born.

On the other hand, most adult bucks that have a home range or seasonal core area within any particular square mile were not born on that area. This means that most of your adult bucks on a small property did not have the healthy start on life that would be given by very healthy female deer to their fawns.

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#283511 - 06/30/07 11:44 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Wes Parrish]
Wes Parrish
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I'm hoping your discussion topic becomes many pages of critical thinking and discussion from many hunter/managers as well at the many TWRA and other game agency and private deer managers who are reading these forums (yet seldom post).

I'll interject one more thought, and then just sit back and listen for a while.

The fact that on smaller properties there are so many deer "coming & going" means that even a small documented improvement by the traditional herd health indicators could mean the impact of your "deer management" on a small property is profound and much more dramatic than can be easily measured.


In fact, many of those deer migrating in from surrounding properties have in some way benefited from your property's management. So one of the standards for comparison (the herd health outside your boundaries) is also improving, thus maybe causing your comparative data to appear little better than the surrounding property. Or maybe, if you're surrounded by poor management, your improvements may be hard to measure at all.

In my case, I like to compare my property's management to the surrounding county. But as TWRA's countywide deer management has become more sound (biologically), some of the standards for comparison are changing, too. And along this line of thought, if you were surrounded by very poor deer management, someone could successfully argue that your management makes little difference, as their management overrides it?

For example, if you have a perfect square of one square mile (640 acres), then in every direction from your perimeter boundaries and going exactly 1 mile, the surrounding 1 mile consists of over 3,000 acres. Or looking another way, if you stand in the very middle of your 640-acre property and draw a circle around you, going 1.5 miles in every direction, your property accounts for less than 25% of the acreage in that circle.

So is it worth your efforts to do anything better at all on a small property?

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#283618 - 06/30/07 02:32 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Wes Parrish]
BSK
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Wes,

I'm not sure biological "health" indicators will be useful at all for small-land management. Too much of individual animal health on a given small property are the product of habitat "somewhere else."

I believe other factors will have to be looked at, although those other factors will still have a link to the habitat of the managed property. And I say that because I still believe deer "choose" to utilize a given area during the fall and early winter (hunting season) because of local habitat conditions.
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#283638 - 06/30/07 02:57 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
Kirk
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It will be interesting to see the results around my home over the next few years. Last year our 1300 acre Bowater lease was sold.

We had lobbied all the adjoining large landholders to set similar restrictions as we had on the lease. I estimate we had around 3,500 acres under our very archaic form of QDM. It worked well for five years. The rack sizes steadily increased as did the deer numbers. We hammered does for the final three years and almost completely eliminated daylight doe activity. The cameras revealed a lot of does were still present and we awere able to show the naysayers. On the flip side we saw lots of bucks during daylight hours. It was the golden days of deer hunting around here.

Since the core area has been sold, bulldozed and lotted off I suspect we will see a steady decline in quality and numbers over the next two seasons due to the uncontrolled areas. I hope I am wrong.

So to me, the measure of our QDM success was in the stories told by local hunters and farmers. The smiles and gleaming eyes as they told about seeing really big bucks for the first time in their lives.
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#283770 - 06/30/07 05:11 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
If this is the case, what should be used as a measure of success on smaller properties?


If at the end of the year you say to yourself, "Man that was a good year," your QDM program was 100% success.

(Not the scientific answer you want to hear Bryan but it may be the most applicable.)
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#283808 - 06/30/07 05:51 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BigGameGuy]
UPSman
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 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
 Originally Posted By: BSK
If this is the case, what should be used as a measure of success on smaller properties?


If at the end of the year you say to yourself, "Man that was a good year," your QDM program was 100% success.

(Not the scientific answer you want to hear Bryan but it may be the most applicable.)

Then we had an awesome year at Cathole last season!
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#283831 - 06/30/07 06:26 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: UPSman]
richmanbarbeque
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Registered: 07/17/03
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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
 Originally Posted By: BSK
If this is the case, what should be used as a measure of success on smaller properties?


If at the end of the year you say to yourself, "Man that was a good year," your QDM program was 100% success.

(Not the scientific answer you want to hear Bryan but it may be the most applicable.)

Then we had an awesome year at Cathole last season!




I agree. QDM for me has changed. It started as the deer I can't shoot, Now it is the deer I get to shoot. If given the oppurtunity. Because of QDM I have passed to many bucks in the last 2 years to count. I have learned from observation, a very valuable tool.

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#284014 - 06/30/07 08:59 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: richmanbarbeque]
deerchaser007
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If this is the case, what should be used as a measure of success on smaller properties

answer,..... the pride and joy you feel inside knowing you have done something good for the wildlife that does come across your place and the wildlife into the future for hunting of those after us.

I know i only have 85 acres and that i am not accomplishing a great deal ,.. but i enjoy doing it. AND,.. hopefully as i keep going, i will encourage others in my area to do the same,.. in turn ,. over time,.. as a whole,.. many hunters and myself will benefit from the work we have done and keep the wildlife and the hunting tradition going strong into the future.

Thats how i would measure success.

Off topic of deer,... i can tell i have ( just on 85 acres) had a positive effect on other wildlife. Especially turkey. 6 years ago it was a battle just even getting to see a turkey. NOW,... i see turkey EVERY time i enter the farm. As a avid turkey hunter ,.. i could not be more pleased. The plots and the habitat improvements alone created more food and especially better nesting for hens. In turn,. has made for more birds in the area.
Thats a measure of success.

Very informative post and will get alot of folks to thinking if what they are doing is helping in any way for deer. The way i see it,.. someone has to set the example and soon ,.. others will follow. Maybe not all,.. but enough to have a impact. So, for all you small property managers out there,.. don't give up hope. This is just another reason the QDMA expresses the need for cooperatives between land owners. Work with your neighbors ,.. and change can occur.

Just my opinion though........Its not science,.. but a honest opinion.
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#284139 - 06/30/07 10:39 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: deerchaser007]
Wes Parrish
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Deerchaser007,

I think you are under-crediting your personal contributions.
It matters not whether you are making those personal decisions on 85 acres or 8,500 acres ---- what you do as an individual is the same actions. In fact, your individual contributions may be of greater value on 85 acres than those same actions might be on a larger tract.

All changes start with the decision and actions of one person, who leads others into seeing the benefits.

 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
I know i only have 85 acres and that i am not accomplishing a great deal ,.. but i enjoy doing it. AND,.. hopefully as i keep going, i will encourage others in my area to do the same,.. in turn ,. over time,.. as a whole,.. many hunters and myself will benefit from the work we have done and keep the wildlife and the hunting tradition going strong into the future.

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#284348 - 07/01/07 09:44 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BigGameGuy]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
 Originally Posted By: BSK
If this is the case, what should be used as a measure of success on smaller properties?


If at the end of the year you say to yourself, "Man that was a good year," your QDM program was 100% success.

(Not the scientific answer you want to hear Bryan but it may be the most applicable.)


Actually, that's exactly the answer I'm looking for. The only difference I would want is a numerical way of measuring this.

I honestly believe simply "impression" of the hunting experience is critical. Was the season good or bad? Did you see/experience things you probably never would have under your previous form of management?

But when it comes to numerical measurement, I think we will have to take a second look at observation data (and some harvest data). In the recent past, observation data has kind of fallen out of "biological" favor, since it's been found that observation data often does not track herd density and composition numbers generated by more accurate methods (with the exception of fawn recruitment numbers). However, what observation data does track accurately is "results per unit effort," such as deer/bucks/shooter bucks observed per hunting hour (or per hunt). For "meat-pole" results, harvests per unit effort (does/bucks harvested per hunting hour or per hunt) is useful data.

Basically, are you seeing measureable improvements in what you want? Are you seeing more shooter bucks per unit effort? Are you shooting more bucks per unit effort? Are you seeing and/or harvesting more total deer per unit effort? These may be the critical factors for tracking success on small properties.

I would also throw in, "What are you photographing on the property with trail cams?" I keep very close track of the number of unique bucks photographed using my property from late summer through mid-winter (August through January). I estimate each photographed bucks age. I also keep track of which bucks were "harvestable" and which were not (a harvestable buck is a buck that is photographed repeatedly on the property during the hunting season). I can then track the age structure of harvestable bucks from year to year. I think this is extremely valuable information. I may have had absolutely nothing to do with "growing" most of the these bucks, but the fact that our habitat work may be influencing these bucks to use our property during the hunting season is a critical aspect to small-land success.
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"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#284353 - 07/01/07 09:47 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Great post deerchaser007.

Can we "control" deer herds on small acreages? No. But I'm becoming a stronger believer that we can infuence their decisions of where they spend most of their time. I've seen too many cases of dramatic differences in management results once specific habitat alterations are made on smaller properties.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#284358 - 07/01/07 09:49 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
 Originally Posted By: BSK
If this is the case, what should be used as a measure of success on smaller properties?

If at the end of the year you say to yourself, "Man that was a good year," your QDM program was 100% success.

Actually, that's exactly the answer I'm looking for. The only difference I would want is a numerical way of measuring this.

I honestly believe simply "impression" of the hunting experience is critical. Was the season good or bad? Did you see/experience things you probably never would have under your previous form of management?

IMO, the trail cam has become the best way of numerically measuring the success of practicing QDM on small properties.

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#284404 - 07/01/07 10:21 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Wes Parrish]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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 Originally Posted By: WesParrish
 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
 Originally Posted By: BSK
If this is the case, what should be used as a measure of success on smaller properties?


If at the end of the year you say to yourself, "Man that was a good year," your QDM program was 100% success.


Actually, that's exactly the answer I'm looking for. The only difference I would want is a numerical way of measuring this.

I honestly believe simply "impression" of the hunting experience is critical. Was the season good or bad? Did you see/experience things you probably never would have under your previous form of management?

IMO, the trail cam has become the best way of numerically measuring the success of practicing QDM on small properties.


And to measure your hunting "skills" it can be very interesting to look at what percent of the photographed, harvestable bucks you and other hunters see while hunting. I track these numbers very closely.

We must be doing something right because we regularly see 50% or more of the photographed, harvestable 3 1/2+ year-old bucks.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#284453 - 07/01/07 10:52 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
JWW4
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I don't like the term QDM. I feel it is too limiting.

My father-in-law owns 40+/- acers and this year let me put in a small food plot and do some minor develpoment. There are deer that pass through the property, but I don't think the term "herd density" could even apply. I put it in hoping to increase the number of deer that move through the area to increase my chances come fall. Since working the area I like the term habitat management or improvement much better. The number of deer moving through the area has not improved greatly if at all, but I have noticed other things. A lot more squirls, and healthier looking. I have seen other animals (turkey)in the area that I (or my father-in-law) have never seen. Turtles and frogs are moving in to eat the bugs that are eating the plots crops. Hopfully the snakes will not follow. Now why does all this matter? No one is impressed by a box turtle or a frog unless your a 4 year old who has never seen one before. I use to be annoyed by the squirls and crows that ate the corn I put out until I saw the look on my sons face when a crow with 5 foot wing span took off as we approached the field. Now I understand why it is called QDM and I want bigger and better deer come fall, and I am not on a mission to change anything, but consider what I have done from the end of last hunting season till now to already be a success.
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#284485 - 07/01/07 11:20 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: JWW4]
Radar
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I don't think I can put a big enough dent in the doe population on the small 175 acre tract I hunt , but I have seen a noticable improvement in the buck age structure since I have been letting 1 1/2 year old bucks walk .
It has shown up in my trail cam results and harvest results .
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#284539 - 07/01/07 12:08 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Radar]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
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On the surface it would seem that QDM minded efforts would benefit "all" deer irregardless of whether they are permanant residents of your property or not. The female segment of the herd doesn't disperse near as much as the male segment thus they may be the primary benefactors. Those resident/semi-resident does are often in better shape than those on surrounding properties not being "managed". This is turn dictates fawns that are probably better "started" than those on those surrounding properties. Those buck fawns that eventually disperse do so with a jump start on the first 1-1.5 years of their life. The influx of dispersing bucks from surrounding properties benefit as well. Those that seasonalably shift onto managed properties through the summer benefit from the typical spring planted food plots. To a greater degree those shifting onto a managed property through the fall/winter months benefit from the more typical fall planted food plots; especially beneficial through the leaner winter months. For whatever reasons, a buck surviving several hunting seasons that has chosen your managed property as a fall/winter haven will generally return yearly provided things remain equal on that property.
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#284585 - 07/01/07 12:46 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Mike Belt]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
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Bryan -

You up for an open "theoretical" discussion on small property management? If so, give me your thoughts on this and let me know what you think. I think it’s the heart of your quandary.

Take two 500 acres properties, one is a well-managed QDM-type property that passes up 1-1/2 and 2-1/2 year old bucks and also has a well thought out habitat management plan that provides ample food and cover on a year-round basis. We’ll call this “Property A” The other property is the “if it’s brown it’s down” type of management with no habitat improvements what-so-ever. This will be “Property B”. Doe harvest is relatively equal between the two properties considering the first property focuses their harvest on does while the second property shoots everything that walks. Assume these two properties are adjacent.

I think we’ll both agree that Property A is going to reflect healthier biological measurements on a year-round basis than Property B (i.e. reproductive rates, fawn survival, weight, antler characteristics, etc.). Property A will also have a much more natural and greater buck density than B since the younger age-classes are protected throughout the hunting season. Property A can be considered a source property since it is a factory for producing older-aged class bucks while property B is considered the sink where all bucks tend to get harvested. Overall, A is much better producer of quality deer than B.

The irony comes when hunting season rolls around.

Buck dispersal is a well-documented process. Bucks often change their home-range with the onset of breeding season triggered by hormonal changes. When the time comes, where will the majority of bucks go to find and compete for does, an area that has an already high density of older bucks or one that is lacking buck competition and also has a high density of available does? I suspect deer respond similarly to most natural processes and take the path of least resistance. Therefore, someone that practices all the proper QDM-type practices may not see, or be able to measure, the gains they have made since their “target” animal is seeking other grounds at the time of harvest. This is true if data collection consists primarily of data collected from harvested deer. This is why pre- and post-season trail-camera data collection is a must for QDM managers.

I personally believe if you are maintaining the number of older-aged class bucks (even though they may be different bucks from your pre-season scouting) or seeing an increased number of older bucks on your property come hunting season, it is not only a reflection of your improved management style but also a refection on the improved quality of the overall herd (i.e. the adjacent properties aren’t over-harvesting their younger bucks either). If you see a decrease in the number of older-aged class bucks from pre-season to mid-season, odds are your property is the source and the surrounding properties are the sinks. In the past three years of reading this forum, I can’t recall anyone saying their sightings of older-aged class bucks has decreased during the hunting season since they began practicing QDM. This defeats the “I can’t practice QDM because my neighbors shoot everything that walks” argument.

Does this make any sense at all?
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#284611 - 07/01/07 01:24 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Radar]
David J
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Registered: 03/10/99
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A Small property owner cannot affect the makeup of the deer population in an area. How can you numerically quantify something where there is no way to derive a base line. Scientifically it can't be done on a free ranging herd.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't keep records of all the deer you harvest or sightings. Those records can be very helpful years down the road.

While it is very true that a deer can't grow if it is in the back of the truck the very fact that you pass up shooting it does not mean it will be any where near your place come next fall. Most yearlings won't stop traveling until late December. So the deer you pass up are going to be a couple of miles down the road come next hunting season. Your only hope of have 2 1/2 year old deer next fall is if your neighbors pass up a few and they decide to stick around your place. According to Dr. Gary Ault you need around 10,000 acres to "really practice" QDM. That's somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 1/2 sq. miles.

So the real question and the answer to BSK's original question is what and how do you make your place that stopping point for a young buck? The answer lies in habitat management more than any other factor and I am not talking about food plots. They are not really habitat management as much as hunter satisfaction management. The most interesting thing is that most of you died in the wool QDM people are not going to make your place an attractive site for a buck to live in.

The first criteria is that it has to be ugly and it has to be thick. It really needs to be a place that you don't want to hunt in. According to the radio collar studies by Penn DNR it needs to have some type of natural boundary. A road, creek, open pasture all seem to create a boundary where a buck will set up house. If the area has other bucks in the area or if there is a dominant buck in the area seems to be a drawing card for a young buck according to their studies. Most likely that is because of the habitat more than anything else.

Once you have your habitat in place and your divorce is final (because your place looks like a weed factory and the wife couldn't stand looking at the uncut grass) you can then start looking at a way of developing a numerical system to gauge your success. I would throw preseason buck/doe ratios out the window because they are useless. Nice information but useless nonetheless. From the thermal imaging studies I have seen so far the buck doe ration in most counties is going to be around 1:1 and in the worst counties 1:2 would be on the high side. If I were to measure "QDM" success it would be the number of hold over bucks left in January plus the number of harvested bucks thought the season. These numbers tracked from season to season would give you a real set of numbers which show how successful you have been.

But again we are talking Habitat management not really QDM.
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#284617 - 07/01/07 01:31 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
David J
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BGG,

NO! It makes no sense! \:\)
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#284622 - 07/01/07 01:34 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
BigGameGuy
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You just repeated what I said... ;\)
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#284689 - 07/01/07 02:54 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BigGameGuy]
David J
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I put it in language BSK can unterstand. -Great Minds-

I didn't even read yours until I posted mine.
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#284709 - 07/01/07 03:38 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
TOW
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My feeling is that if one doesn't get ALL the neighbors within a 1 mile radius to buy into the same QDM plan then all a person on small acreage is doing is attracting deer to his property when he manages the habitat. By managing the habitat to attract bucks it can not be just "food plots". If you don't give that mature buck a core sanctuary you wont keep him on your place.

By and large the 1 1/2 year olds that we are passing up this year will end up:

1) In the back of someone else's truck this year

2) Will end up as a 2 1/2 year old on another peice of property a mile or better away next year.

The better the habitat for that buck, the better chance he has of being and staying there.

Now I haven't killed a 1 1/2 year old buck in 20 years, but I do kill a buck every year. I found out that 20 years ago when I killed a 1 1/2 year old buck on the opening day of bow season (limit was one buck with a bow)that I was missing out on a lot of hunting by shooting the first buck that came along.

Since then I have become more selective and hunt longer and longer. Hunting longer in a season increases a person's chance of crossing paths with a wall hanger.

I've heard many a hunter say after they take a small buck that they very seldom see any big bucks. The law of averages says that if they kill the first buck they see it will more than likely be a 1 1/2 old. If one wants a bigger buck, then have to stop shooting the little bucks and stay in the woods and hunt.

I've found the longer and harder I hunt the luckier I get. ;\)
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#284794 - 07/01/07 05:17 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: TOW]
Radar
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I agree with habitat managment being one of the most important factors of keeping mature bucks in the area . They need security cover to escape the hunting pressure .
I have seen pressured deer hide in some unusual places to escape hunting pressure .
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#284915 - 07/01/07 07:24 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Radar]
gil1
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Question - When do bucks disperse?
If they disperse before they are 1 1/2, then I'm assuming (outside of the rut), their range after that will generally stay the same until they die. So if I see a 1 1/2 yr. old buck and it has dispersed to my property and set up shop there, my property should stay as part of its range forever. So if I don't shoot it and it isn't killed on the surrounding properties that are also a part of its range, who's to say I won't have the possibility of seeing it and killing it when it is 3 1/2, 4 1/2, etc.? I know these are big "ifs." I'm just not understanding the premise that if you pass up a 1 1/2 yr. old, it will go somewhere else, and you'll never see it again.
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#284935 - 07/01/07 07:39 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: gil1]
Mike Belt
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gil1---As I posted on the previous page, it is my understanding that if a dispersing buck "chooses" your area as his stomping grounds during the fall/winter seasons and all things remain the same thereafter, he's likely to return yearly to the same areas he's familiar with and where he has learned to seek safety during the hunting seasons. If I'm wrong about this someone please correct me.
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#285136 - 07/01/07 09:26 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: ]
Chris Tripp
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Yearling bucks are dispersed by the mother does, that is one reason I along with QDM proponents recommend such heavy doe harvests.
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#285451 - 07/02/07 07:28 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: gil1]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: gil1
Question - When do bucks disperse?


Yearling bucks disperse from their birth range at one of two times: 1) In late spring, as their mother gets ready to have her new fawns; or 2) in fall, just before the rut. I generally pick up this fall dispersal on my trail cams the last two weeks of October and the first week of November.

For some reason, Yearling Buck Dispersal (YBD) studies in the North find much more dispersal in spring, while YBD studies in the South find more dispersal in the fall.
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#285455 - 07/02/07 07:31 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
BSK
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Foggy54, wrote:
I'll call my limited QDM efforts a sucess for me as I can see deer daily where as before I did not.

And for very small land management, that may be the best criterion of success.
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#285473 - 07/02/07 07:51 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
BSK
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gil1 wrote:
If they disperse before they are 1 1/2, then I'm assuming (outside of the rut), their range after that will generally stay the same until they die. So if I see a 1 1/2 yr. old buck and it has dispersed to my property and set up shop there, my property should stay as part of its range forever.


Mike Belt wrote:
it is my understanding that if a dispersing buck "chooses" your area as his stomping grounds during the fall/winter seasons and all things remain the same thereafter, he's likely to return yearly to the same areas he's familiar with and where he has learned to seek safety during the hunting seasons.


That situation was always thought to be the case. But these new GPS collar studies appear to be questioning that concept. I look forward to seeing more details from the Auburn study that will be presented at next year's Southeast Deer Study Group meeting, but some preliminary data shows that bucks often have very different "rut ranges" from one year to the next, sometimes with no overlap at all between the two years' rut ranges for the same buck. In fact, on average, individual buck rut ranges from one year to the next only overlaped by 50%.

Now neither study was specifically looking at seasonal shifts in range, but perhaps I can borrow some of this data to look for that in particular. But from what I'm hearing anecdotally about the data, bucks are displaying fairly destinct and different seasonal shifts from year to year.

This would definitely match a lot of my data. I can show example after example of bucks that show up on a given property at the same time of year every year, but I think that is the minority of cases. I haven't gone through all my trail camera data over the years and made an exact count, but I'll bet when I do I find that more than 50% of the older bucks I photograph on a property in a given year have never been seen on that property before and never again. In other cases, I'll get a buck one year, but not the next, only to have him show up again in the 3rd year. He did not have the same fall/rut range every year, but did 2 out of 3 years.

If all of this new data strongly suggests (and I think it will) that it is a rare event that bucks are "raised" in a given area all their lives, then we have to throw the idea of "growing" a specific herd of deer on a small property out the window. Then what do we use as a measure of success on these smaller properties?
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#285480 - 07/02/07 07:55 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
Chris Tripp
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Brian... would you happen to have any copies of notes from this year's southeast deer study?

Edited by Chris Tripp (07/02/07 07:56 AM)

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#285492 - 07/02/07 08:02 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
BSK
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BigGameGuy,

I definitely believe that QDM managed small properties are the "source" for yearling bucks and that nieghboring non-QDM properties are the sink for those young bucks. On the other hand, the adjacent non-QDM lands are the source for doe groups and the QDM managed property becomes the sink for those does.

However, once you get into older bucks, that system may break down a bit, simply because older bucks are more wary. I still can't figure out exactly what is going on from one year to the next with individual older bucks, but something unusual is.

But I still feel that the number of harvestable older bucks using a small property during the hunting season may be the best BIOLOGICAL measure of "QDM success," even though the QDM program didn't necessarily "produce" those old bucks. A real quandry... Although the population of summer "resident" older bucks should not be overlooked either, whether those bucks stay on the property year-round or not.
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#285514 - 07/02/07 08:23 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
Chris Tripp
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guess that would be a "no, not for you \:\) "
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#285534 - 07/02/07 08:57 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Chris Tripp]
BSK
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Chris,

All I have is my "chicken scratch" notes. I honestly wish they would publish the full proceedings each year. What is presented in the abstracts often doesn't tell the whole story (because the abstracts have to be submitted long before the actual conference, hence new data may have been collected and analyzed).
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#285546 - 07/02/07 09:29 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
Chris Tripp
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Maybe one year I will actually have time to attend. I do wish they offered journals from the meeting for sale.
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#285578 - 07/02/07 10:10 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Chris Tripp]
Wes Parrish
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While I very strongly believe that the people who practice QDM, particularly each individual hunter practicing it, are the ones receiving the greatest benefits . . . . . . .

Everything posted above makes a strong case for the importance of very biologically sound deer regulations being placed in effect by TWRA for each county-wide area.

While it seems most hunters benefit from any hunters practicing QDM, those hunters practicing QDM on small properties will see much of the potential benefits of QDM greatly reduced if hunters on surrounding properties are pounding yearling bucks.

The term "if it's brown it's down" does not necessarily mean these hunters are killing just ANY deer ---- I commonly find groups of hunters who will kill ANY antlered buck (killing mostly yearlings), yet will not kill a doe. And these hunters commonly use the term "if it's brown it's down".

Of course, if the county deer regs were "buck only", then these "if it's brown it's down" hunters are in fact killing any legal deer. Even in Unit L, there are many hunters afield under "buck only" regs during all centerfire rifle deer season segments, as many will not pay extra money for a doe permit (or sportsman's license which includes it). Surely some of these particular hunters would just as soon kill a doe (if legal) as a spike buck?

Which raises another question with particular bearing on small properties attempting to practice QDM:

What percentage of the surrounding area's buck harvest is from hunters who are only hunting during the "buck only" rifle season? I contend it's quite high, even in Unit L, as the hunters least likely to kill a yearling buck are the hunters most likely to have paid extra for that doe permit. Would simple "either-sex" regs enhance the results of small property QDM?

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#285796 - 07/02/07 01:18 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Wes Parrish]
David J
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Wes,

You are getting off BSK's subject!

But to answer your question - Either Sex regs do nothing to alter the buck harvest. The hunter that wants to shoot any buck will do so weather he shoots a doe or not. Look at the doe kills in unit L last year. A few hunters are going to shoot does with a rifle. Most won't.
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#285797 - 07/02/07 01:25 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
156p&y
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 Originally Posted By: BSK

This would definitely match a lot of my data. I can show example after example of bucks that show up on a given property at the same time of year every year, but I think that is the minority of cases. I haven't gone through all my trail camera data over the years and made an exact count, but I'll bet when I do I find that more than 50% of the older bucks I photograph on a property in a given year have never been seen on that property before and never again. In other cases, I'll get a buck one year, but not the next, only to have him show up again in the 3rd year. He did not have the same fall/rut range every year, but did 2 out of 3 years.

Throughout the years we will occasionally have a deer that tends to pretty much live on the farm for year after year. It is rare but usually those bucks are much easier to hunt b/c they are actually predictable compared to many of the other bucks. Then again we have bucks that I'll spot and scout in late August and most of the time video them for future use. Some of those bucks will vanish when they shed their velvet. Whether they are leaving or just simply going nocturnal from their testosterone change I haven't figured out. And since we only use about 1 trail camera I have yet to figure out if they are just nocturnal. A lot of times those bucks will materialize once or twice during the peak of the chase phase.

Another thing I've noticed is that dominate bucks tend to claim certain areas on the farm when the rut is approaching and if harvested are quickly replaced by another dominate buck near the area. So each year those place tend to produce results year after year.
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#285831 - 07/02/07 02:04 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: 156p&y]
TOW
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I'm off too for one post..

In Indiana we have a general firearms tag that is buck only.

In order to kill an antlerless deer one must purcase a "bonus tag". That is $24 for the first one and $15 for each tag there after.

We have tried , unsuccessfully so far, to get the IDNR to make that general firearm tag an either sex. That way when it comes down to the end of the season of that hunter he might just pop a doe instead of that small buck.

We hear the "I took a forkie on the last weekend just for meat" way too often.Just because thay didn't want to eat that general firearms tag.


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#285915 - 07/02/07 03:57 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
Wes Parrish
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 Originally Posted By: David J
Wes,

You are getting off BSK's subject!
I disagree, as I believe the countywide deer regs have a great bearing on the success or failure of small-property QDM.

 Originally Posted By: David J
Either Sex regs do nothing to alter the buck harvest. The hunter that wants to shoot any buck will do so weather he shoots a doe or not.
If you believe that, there's a bridge on I-40 I'd like to sell you. Of course a hunter willing to shoot any buck will not change his buck standards, but many of them would shoot a doe first and then call it, not only a day, but a season.

 Originally Posted By: David J
Look at the doe kills in unit L last year. A few hunters are going to shoot does with a rifle. Most won't.
Maybe because most hunters afield (even in Unit L) who actually killed a buck did not have a doe tag?

 Originally Posted By: TOW
In Indiana we have a general firearms tag that is buck only.
In order to kill an antlerless deer one must purcase a "bonus tag". That is $24 for the first one and $15 for each tag there after.

We have tried , unsuccessfully so far, to get the IDNR to make that general firearm tag an either sex.
Tow, that's almost exactly how it is in Tennessee.

 Originally Posted By: TOW
We have tried , unsuccessfully so far, to get the IDNR to make that general firearm tag an either sex. That way when it comes down to the end of the season of that hunter he might just pop a doe instead of that small buck.
Or often just the beginning or the end of the day .

 Originally Posted By: TOW
We hear the "I took a forkie on the last weekend just for meat" way too often.
Exactly

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#285928 - 07/02/07 04:24 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: 156p&y]
BSK
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Then again we have bucks that I'll spot and scout in late August and most of the time video them for future use. Some of those bucks will vanish when they shed their velvet. Whether they are leaving or just simply going nocturnal from their testosterone change I haven't figured out...

A lot of times those bucks will materialize once or twice during the peak of the chase phase.


I've seen that pattern before. They shift ranges at antler velvet shedding just far enough to take them off the property, yet during the rut, their range expands just far enough to bring them back onto the property during peak breeding.
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#285931 - 07/02/07 04:28 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
BSK
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...as I believe the countywide deer regs have a great bearing on the success or failure of small-property QDM.

I absolutely agree with that. I firmly believe the changes in state regulations (especially the lower buck limit) has had a HUGE impact in my area. Even my cousins' 300 acres down the road, that they don't have the time to manage anywhere near as intensivley as I manage my own land, is seeing much improved buck age structure. They have the opprtunity (and do) kill a couple of older bucks each year. That wasn't the case before the lower buck limits.
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#286013 - 07/02/07 06:02 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
JWW4
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While the topic of different states and their varing laws is being discussed. Seeing as how deer don't know about or observe state lines has a study ever been done on the deer in tennessee that may share ranges say in TN/KY and how they differ from deer in TN/GA or TN/MS ranges?
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#286019 - 07/02/07 06:05 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Wes Parrish]
David J
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Wes,

I'm not going to hijack BSK's thread. I'll argugue with you on another thread.
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#286195 - 07/02/07 08:10 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
deerchaser007
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BSK,.... the radio collared deer information you are talking about,.... is the study information consist of land that is properly managed for habitat, sacuaries,food plots, and how much land is involved in the study??

Based on that study alone,... that information would be critical when your talking how to measure success from a QDM project on small properties. Seems if the study was conducted on land that did not have sancuaries, dense habitat for cover and food, and food plots that the study may reveal different results.
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#286350 - 07/02/07 09:40 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
Wes Parrish
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 Originally Posted By: David J
Wes,

I'm not going to hijack BSK's thread. I'll argugue with you on another thread.
I agree we shouldn't get sidetracked on this thread talking about the finer points of statewide deer management. My purpose was just to make a point that the statewide regs do have a great effect on the potential results of QDM on smaller properties.

But when you start that other thread, you may be arguing as much with BSK as with me . . . . .
 Originally Posted By: BSK
...as I believe the countywide deer regs have a great bearing on the success or failure of small-property QDM.
I absolutely agree with that.

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#286596 - 07/03/07 01:25 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Wes Parrish]
Whitehorse
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I'm pretty happy, the way my last few seasons have gone regarding time in the woods, if I get in the field & see a deer - or part of one if it's alive! \:D
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#286622 - 07/03/07 06:13 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Whitehorse]
Mike Belt
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Let's not forget that QDM minded practices are not just for our sake. Whether they are killed during the hunting season on the property under management, on adjacent properties not practicing QDM, or never killed at all; all could be considered moot points. At least to some degree, stereotypical QDM practices are designed to benefit and maximize the whitetail deer and they accomplish just that. Even without hanging their heads on our walls we gain the satisfaction of being able to give something back to the sport that so drives our lives.
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#286654 - 07/03/07 06:56 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Mike Belt]
BSK
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Good point Mike. I bet even a smaller property can be the source point for a bunch of healthy yearling bucks that disperse across a wide area. Those early-born, healthy young bucks have the best chance of becoming big, healthy older bucks for a lot of hunters to pursue.
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#286656 - 07/03/07 06:57 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: JWW4]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: JWW4
While the topic of different states and their varing laws is being discussed. Seeing as how deer don't know about or observe state lines has a study ever been done on the deer in tennessee that may share ranges say in TN/KY and how they differ from deer in TN/GA or TN/MS ranges?


I've never seen a study on this, but you will see numerous hunters commenting on the large size of bucks in the northern TN counties that border KY.
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#286666 - 07/03/07 07:05 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: deerchaser007]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
BSK,.... the radio collared deer information you are talking about,.... is the study information consist of land that is properly managed for habitat, sacuaries,food plots, and how much land is involved in the study??

Based on that study alone,... that information would be critical when your talking how to measure success from a QDM project on small properties. Seems if the study was conducted on land that did not have sancuaries, dense habitat for cover and food, and food plots that the study may reveal different results.


So far, only one really detailed study released to the scientific community. A second will be released this year, but I received some insider information on that one recently. The first was conducted on a well-managed property in the DelMarVa Penninsula in an area that is heavy agriculture, and the patterns were very much linked to that agriculture, in that seasonal patterns were being driven by maturation of agriculture and dates of harvest.

I don't know the study site situation of the second study (yet), other than it was conducted by an Auburn graduate student, so I suspect it was somewhere in southern AL. But what I found interesting was the matching patterns between the two studies, especially those of bucks making short-duration, long-distance "forays" during the rut. These long-distance forays have major implications for small-land management, as a buck being "grown" on one property may end up being killed on one of his rut forays miles from his regular home range.
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#286732 - 07/03/07 08:04 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
BSK
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Deerchaser007,

Here's what Steve Ditchkoff, head of the Wildlife Department at Auburn, had to say about their study:

I have a student completing his thesis on buck movements that has a lot of relevance to some of the things mentioned on here in the past day. When following bucks for 24 straight hours, we find that 2.5 year old bucks (the youngest that we monitored) frequently made what we called "exploratory" movements where they would bee-line (as described by BSK) about 1.5 to 2 miles and return immediately. However, we saw the same deer doing it in different directions on several occasions. Because of the extremely high proportion of mature males in this population, we interpreted these movements as a response to the lack of available does because the big boys were locked down on them. In essence, we believe they were actually checking to see if the "grass was greener". Of course, this is pure speculation. We are also seeing some movement patterns in high fences that would suggest that this is occurring there as well, and we will begin to examine this pattern this fall.

One of the chapters in this thesis is on home range shifts...similar to what BSK described. In the population that we studied, we are finding that it is the norm, rather than the exception, and it has huge implications for deer management, and some of the things we are talking about. You will definitely want to read this when it's complete.
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#287056 - 07/03/07 12:15 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Mike Belt]
Greg .
aPoStROpHe PolIcE
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 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
Let's not forget that QDM minded practices are not just for our sake. Whether they are killed during the hunting season on the property under management, on adjacent properties not practicing QDM, or never killed at all; all could be considered moot points. At least to some degree, stereotypical QDM practices are designed to benefit and maximize the whitetail deer and they accomplish just that. Even without hanging their heads on our walls we gain the satisfaction of being able to give something back to the sport that so drives our lives.


THANK YOU, Mike.
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#287279 - 07/03/07 03:36 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Greg .]
deerchaser007
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Thanks for sharing that info BSK,.. and i fully agree with the last part saying you will definitely want to read this when complete. I know i would.......

That is amazing that a buck can cover 1.5 to 2 miles in 24 hours and return to his homerange.
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#287305 - 07/03/07 03:58 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: deerchaser007]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
Thanks for sharing that info BSK,.. and i fully agree with the last part saying you will definitely want to read this when complete. I know i would.......

That is amazing that a buck can cover 1.5 to 2 miles in 24 hours and return to his homerange.



They saw the exact same pattern at Remington Farms in Maryland. Bucks would take off, cover a couple of miles in just a few hours, appear to chase a doe around for a day, and then make a bee-line back to his home range. I asked the Ph.D. running the program what percent of older bucks make these trips, and he said just about all of them do it at least once during the rut, with some doing it multiple times.

Another point that Steve brought up was that most bucks in their study did not have consistent rut range from year to year. The average overlap between an individual buck's rut range from one year to the next was only 50%, and some bucks displayed completely different rut ranges from one year to the next with no overlap between the two.
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#287363 - 07/03/07 05:15 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
156p&y
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BSK what times of day did the majority of the bucks make this bee-line back to his homerange? I ask b/c I've seen older bucks trotting almost franticly in a dead straight line to areas they bed, right at and right after daylight. It was like they where vampires that had to get in their coffin before the sun was completely up. It may just be a freak incident but I've seen it several times and mostly during the rut. And when I say straight line I'm talking, not on a trail and just lowering their heads to go through thick brush. In every case they all been older aged deer atleast 3.5 and up.

Edited by 156p&y (07/03/07 05:17 PM)
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#288009 - 07/04/07 07:10 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: 156p&y]
David J
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I can believe that a deer can travel 1 to 2 maybe even 5 miles away from his core area and I am not sure it isn't done a whole lot more than just in the rut. A man can cover 5 miles in an hour walking why is it hard to believe a deer can't do the same thing especially at night. I feel that as more research is done on the habits of deer we will see more and more myths fall by the way side.
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#288064 - 07/04/07 08:23 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
BSK
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156p&y,

Most of these beeline travels are at night. In fact, one buck got hit by a car on the way back home. Kind of wierd to see the GPS positions heading quickly in a fairly straight line and then the last point is in the middle of a road.
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#288065 - 07/04/07 08:24 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: David J
I can believe that a deer can travel 1 to 2 maybe even 5 miles away from his core area and I am not sure it isn't done a whole lot more than just in the rut. A man can cover 5 miles in an hour walking why is it hard to believe a deer can't do the same thing especially at night. I feel that as more research is done on the habits of deer we will see more and more myths fall by the way side.


I think the question isn't that they can do it, but why they do it. How do they know where they are going?
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#288066 - 07/04/07 08:27 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
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Never under estimate the power of the nose.

I don't think they are going to an "area", they are more than likely going to a "girl friend".


Edited by BigGameGuy (07/04/07 08:28 AM)
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#288070 - 07/04/07 08:30 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: 156p&y]
Wes Parrish
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 Originally Posted By: 156p&y
I've seen older bucks trotting almost franticly in a dead straight line to areas they bed, right at and right after daylight. It was like they where vampires that had to get in their coffin before the sun was completely up. And when I say straight line I'm talking, not on a trail and just lowering their heads to go through thick brush.
I have experienced this many times, and one of my best bucks (and oldest) bucks ever was taken back in 1984 during the 1st 5 minutes of legal shooting time, as he was running to his bedding area. He was making so much noise, I'm sure he was over a half mile away when I first heard him coming, allowing me plenty of time to be ready, if only there would enough light when he passed.
 Originally Posted By: BSK
Most of these beeline travels are at night.

Most of these "beeline" travels I have heard, not seen. These older bucks almost seem to try to make extra noise --- sometimes sounding more like a horse galloping thru the woods than a deer. Most of these I've experienced when I got on stand about an hour before first light, and most of the time, I would hear these beeline travels begin and end well before first light.

I should add that I've experience much less of this over the past several years in the same hunting areas where it was once almost an every morning (pre-light) experience. When the area was several square miles of unbroken hardwoods, I experienced this often. As the habitat has changed into mixed hardwoods, dense young pine, and thick young clear-cuts, I believe these bucks are doing less of this. While I couldn't hear one as well going thru pine, they might make more noise in some of the thick cover. My theory is it became harder to travel in a beeline once the habitat when from many square miles of fairly open hardwoods to mixed habitat.

 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
Never under estimate the power of the nose.

I don't think they are going to an "area", they are more than likely going to a "girl friend".

I'm sure that is sometimes the case, but that did not appear to be the case in my experiences described above. I often hunted saddles on high ridges where I could actually hear a running deer over a mile below as it came up the ridge, crossed, and then might go another half-mile when everything just suddenly stopped ---- like he had reached his bedding place for the day, barely before daylight ---- sometimes right after.

It's the timing of these jaunts that makes me believe they were not smelling a doe, as well as the great distances they typically traveled, galloping more like a horse than a deer. And it was nearly always just one deer --- the relatively few times I've been able to see --- nearly always an older buck.

The hunting implications were that I was tipped off to many older buck bedding areas by hearing where they stopped, then hunting closer, and closer to those areas in subsequent hunts, sometimes eventually killing another mature buck as a result.

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#288071 - 07/04/07 08:30 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BigGameGuy]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
Never under estimate the power of the nose.

I don't think they are going to an "area", they are more than likely going to a "girl friend".


I agree. From Mark's data, the bucks were obviously chasing a doe once they got to where they were going. But man, that's a long way for scent to travel.

I guess some does are just really stinky. \:\)

Actually, I dated a girl like that once... ;\)
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#288165 - 07/04/07 09:22 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
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How far did you have to travel?

Right now I have a lab in heat. My male lab, usually very controllable, has gone nuts. Mature bucks that are never seen or even known to have existed finally break their "code of invisibility", even if only briefly, after getting a whiff of an estrous doe. I fully buy into the fact that bucks will travel long distances in search of those does and I can see why 2.5 year old bucks would make these 2+ mile forays searching as well as avoiding the older, more dominant bucks in those areas. The part that befuddles me is why they would return to their starting points so soon. If the lure of sex is strong enough to pull them out of their seclusion in the first place but they return within a 24 hour period (provided they didn't couple up with a doe) is it because of fatique, the security that that immediate "home" range offers, or have they mastubated temporarily gratifying themselves to the point of a temporarily subdued sex drive?
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#288176 - 07/04/07 09:26 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Mike Belt]
gil1
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 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
or have they mastubated temporarily gratifying themselves to the point of a temporarily subdued sex drive?

If deer could masterbait, I don't think I would ever have a shot at a decent buck! Why would they ever leave their bedroom?
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#288183 - 07/04/07 09:30 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: gil1]
Chris Tripp
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 Originally Posted By: gil1
 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
or have they mastubated temporarily gratifying themselves to the point of a temporarily subdued sex drive?

If deer could masterbait, I don't think I would ever have a shot at a decent buck! Why would they ever leave their bedroom?


lol

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#288234 - 07/04/07 10:00 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: gil1]
TOW
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 Originally Posted By: gil1
 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
or have they mastubated temporarily gratifying themselves to the point of a temporarily subdued sex drive?

If deer could masterbait, I don't think I would ever have a shot at a decent buck! Why would they ever leave their bedroom?


They can, as can several other animals..
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#288356 - 07/04/07 11:10 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: TOW]
Mike Belt
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You'll only miss out on the gay bucks. The straight ones will still chase after the girls. By virtue of this, the man that has a wall full of faggot bucks is by far the better hunter.
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#288375 - 07/04/07 11:34 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: gil1]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: gil1
 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
or have they mastubated temporarily gratifying themselves to the point of a temporarily subdued sex drive?

If deer could masterbait, I don't think I would ever have a shot at a decent buck! Why would they ever leave their bedroom?


Actually, bucks regularly masterbait. I've seen many video-clips of them doing so.
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#288397 - 07/04/07 12:20 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
TOW
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: gil1
 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
or have they mastubated temporarily gratifying themselves to the point of a temporarily subdued sex drive?

If deer could masterbait, I don't think I would ever have a shot at a decent buck! Why would they ever leave their bedroom?


Actually, bucks regularly masterbait. I've seen many video-clips of them doing so.



Several years ago I watched a spike when he did his own thing. he was trailing a big buck and doe and was totally frustrated as the big buck kept running him off. That is the first time I had ever seen that happen. A friend of mine has a captive deer herd and he has seen it a number of times. He hunched his back up and rubbed his penis against his belly. His whole body shuddered and then he looked around, I guess to see if anybody was watching. ;\)

The big buck was with the doe most of the morning and finally came by my stand at 7 yards... shame on him..

The crossbow spoke and he ran 80 yards and keeled over.

Maybe after that the spike took up with the doe?
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#288468 - 07/04/07 02:04 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: TOW]
gil1
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 Originally Posted By: TOW
 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: gil1
 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
or have they mastubated temporarily gratifying themselves to the point of a temporarily subdued sex drive?

If deer could masterbait, I don't think I would ever have a shot at a decent buck! Why would they ever leave their bedroom?


Actually, bucks regularly masterbait. I've seen many video-clips of them doing so.



Several years ago I watched a spike when he did his own thing. he was trailing a big buck and doe and was totally frustrated as the big buck kept running him off. That is the first time I had ever seen that happen. A friend of mine has a captive deer herd and he has seen it a number of times. He hunched his back up and rubbed his penis against his belly. His whole body shuddered and then he looked around, I guess to see if anybody was watching. ;\)

The big buck was with the doe most of the morning and finally came by my stand at 7 yards... shame on him..

The crossbow spoke and he ran 80 yards and keeled over.

Maybe after that the spike took up with the doe?


I thought y'all were just joking. Learn something new every day...

No wonder the bucks are all holed up in cover during the day. They need a little self-love down-time. Probably beats having to listen to the does constantly yappin' about clearing trails, crapping all over the neighbor's home range, and finding the sweet acorn spots. "You didn't get home until after sun-up. What were you doing all night?"
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#288585 - 07/04/07 05:38 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Mike Belt]
richmanbarbeque
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 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
You'll only miss out on the gay bucks. The straight ones will still chase after the girls. By virtue of this, the man that has a wall full of faggot bucks is by far the better hunter.


That is a classic post Mike. Sorry to hi-jack, too funny!!!

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#288589 - 07/04/07 05:42 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: richmanbarbeque]
Radar
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Here I thought they would just find a hole in a tall stump ..... \:D
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#288632 - 07/04/07 07:01 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: gil1]
David J
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 Originally Posted By: gil1
 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
or have they mastubated temporarily gratifying themselves to the point of a temporarily subdued sex drive?

If deer could masterbait, I don't think I would ever have a shot at a decent buck! Why would they ever leave their bedroom?


Gil1,
You should have been at the QDMA Convention. Thursday afternoon was deer porno exibition. I guess you won't ever have a shot at a decent buck now that you know the truth.
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#288668 - 07/04/07 08:23 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: David J]
canyonman
Spike


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BSK asked,What should be used as a measure of QDM success for a given property?
We all want to keep score,is all the hard work going to pay off ,
is all the money we spend on improvements worth it?
We pass on the younger bucks hoping that old mossy back will show up and when he does and we kill this old wise animal that has tricked us for many years, there is no greater feeling.
Is this the true measure of success?
The land i hunt has been in my family for 54 years.My father killed his first buck in 1963.When I started hunting in 1975 the only rule we had is you could only kill one buck.I finaly killed my first buck in 1981 and I have killed many deer since then.The success I have today started before 1963 before the first buck was even killed.My father died 3 yrs ago and left me in charge of the land I hunt today.The QDM I practice today is not just for me its for my children and there children for years to come.
And that is the true measure of success,that we leave the land better than it was given to us.

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#288882 - 07/05/07 06:46 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: canyonman]
BSK
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Good post canyonman.
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#289019 - 07/05/07 09:03 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
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You couldn't have said it any better Canyonman. That is the land ethic Aldo Leopold made famous in the Sand County Almanac.
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#289072 - 07/05/07 09:55 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: canyonman]
Greg .
aPoStROpHe PolIcE
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I agree, good post canyonman.

For me ... I don't think I can really measure QDM 'success'. I only have a tiny piece of land that I may manage (12+ acres), but am surrounded by about 240 acres that isn't currently hunted. I have always let all yearling bucks walk and take a couple does per year off my land since I first started hunting it 6 years ago. At first, I didn't see a buck bigger than a yearling spike. Lately I have been seeing more larger yearlings and the occasional 2.5 and 3.5 year old. So ... I think I may be making a difference.

One problem I see in my area is hunter density. We've got some "brown, it's downers" (and this mostly refers to bucks) hunting nearby and even though they can only take 2 bucks/year each, their sheer numbers put a hurt on our young buck population every year.
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#289171 - 07/05/07 11:20 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Greg .]
Radar
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I like canyonman's measurement of success . I don't really get into the science of deer management . I just enjoy deer hunting for what it is , a sport that has been a tradition in my family for generations .
Success is directly proportionate to the size of the grin for the successfull hunter .
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#289195 - 07/05/07 11:32 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Radar]
BSK
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I agree that hunter satisfaction should be a major part of any "measure of success." But I'm looking at it from a scientific/biological perspective.

In any given year, a large percentage of the older bucks using a particular smaller property probably did not use it previously and may not use that property in following years. If those older bucks are not "products" of the small properties passing of young bucks nor the managed habitat, the bucks "biological factors," such as body weight and antler measurements--both used to track biological improvements--are not accurate measures of the properties management efforts. But the fact those bucks are there, that year may very well be the thing that needs to be used as the best biological measure of success.

In essence something about the small land management probably influenced those bucks to use that property during that hunting season. Finding those influences may need to be the focus of small land management, and simply measuring the "attraction power" of those influences may need to be the real measure of "biological success."
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#289849 - 07/05/07 06:58 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Radar]
Tenbears
6 Point


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I too, totally aggree with Cman.

From a scientific view:
i have seen the difference in the deer that use our farm over the last 6 years than prior to having nutrients on a yaer round basis.

I'm not so sure of the older buck class that stay on the place.
but for sure I've seen certian groups that stay on the place.
The older class bucks often stay between 2 to 3farms in the area.
These are seen by video and in most cases during the off season while we scout, or word of mouth of them in the area.

I don't really know how tho measure it from this point, other than seeing an increase in numbers healthier herds and better class bucks taken. There waqs a point that we had lil scronny bucks, but not any more.

I'm still learning, the management process and it continues to get better.
We have some of the best group people on this site that share information.

This alone is a sense of success. \:\)
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#290511 - 07/06/07 09:00 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


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 Originally Posted By: BSK
But the fact those bucks are there, that year may very well be the thing that needs to be used as the best biological measure of success.

In essence something about the small land management probably influenced those bucks to use that property during that hunting season. Finding those influences may need to be the focus of small land management, and simply measuring the "attraction power" of those influences may need to be the real measure of "biological success."

In my case, a major "influence" is hunting style, or maybe more I should say year-round land use style.
Taking great pains to simply not disturb deer, so that the entire small property is somewhat a "sanctuary", at least relative to surrounding properties. So I'm talking about something far beyond just minimizing human scent and hunting the wind. While this is not a practice limited to just the hunting season, it is of it's greatest importance during a hunting season. But, again, I'm emphasizing it's not just a hunting style as much as it's a different style of land conservation.

On a year-round basis, I avoid any human activity on small hunting properties, then try to limit my more frequent excursions mainly to a small property's perimeter. Of course, there may always be something you're wanting to do on the property, so with exception to the perimeters, I try to do those things (like checking interior trail cams, mowing food plots, etc.) between late morning and mid-afternoon. This keeps the deer habituated to no human disturbances during the peak hunting times of early mornings and late afternoons.

I've also found that when hunting, entering the area well before daylight, staying on stand all day, then leaving after dark is one of the best ways to minimize human disturbance to a small property during hunting season. (For whatever reasons, deer do not seem as bothered by nighttime human intrusion.) If you can't stay all day, try to exit around 1P, when more deer are bedded, and there's typically a little wind dissipating not only your scent, but also your movements and sounds.

IMO, one of the biggest mistakes many hunters make in hunting/managing small properties is too much "scouting" and/or simply spending too much time on (or more in the interior of) the property, rather than around the property. But it's all a "relative" thing. So long as there's more human disturbance on the surrounding property, you can get away with more on yours, but still with the price of less daytime movement of older deer. If you're surrounded by property that seldom is disturbed, it may not take much human intrusion on your property to cause the deer to spend more of their time on the neighboring property. Deer quickly gravitate to the areas they find they're least disturbed, even if it's not the best security cover in the area. And sometimes even under minimal human intrusion, they don't mind staying bedded all day, only to travel over a mile to feed all night under the cover of darkness.

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#290537 - 07/06/07 09:44 AM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Wes Parrish]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
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I would agree that the #1 most powerful "attractant" to small properties is good cover habitat and/or "sanctuaries." Nothing draws hunter-wary deer like places they can hide and places where they find little human intrusion. The radio collar studies from PA clearly indicate hunter-wary deer very quickly gravitate (during hunting season) towards the areas that experience the least human activity (scent).

I also agree about human activities on a property outside of hunting season. Other than directly post-hunting season, I do little "wandering through the woods" on my place. Now the deer will smell me year-round in the food plots and along the major roads, but human scent "in the woods" is kept to a minimum outside of the hunting season. Plus, we have several small designated sanctuaries where no human intrusion is permitted period.
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#291042 - 07/06/07 08:15 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: deerchaser007]
Boone 58
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Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 15185
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Chaser, i agree, we manage almost 4000 acres, even though many folks dont really manage as intensively as others the far reaching impacts of everyone doing a little bit of managing along with the twra's reduction of bucks allowed has made a tremendous impact on the "maturity" increase of bucks being killed. Many folks now will pass up the 1.5 yr olds to chase the 2.5 and older but even said some pass thru and i can definitely tell an improvement in the age structure of our herds. I personally am impressed with the widespread interest by almost everyone in planting food plots. this coupled with better harvest practices has catapulted us forward by leaps and bounds from where we were just 8 to 10 years ago. When i came home in 97 i was depressed with the little being done toward plots since georgia had been on that program for many years. Sooooo good to see us going forward the way we are!!
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#292803 - 07/08/07 10:57 PM Re: Measures of QDM "success" [Re: Boone 58]
1Roscoe
Spike


Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 80
Loc: Georgetown, Tx

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Bryan, what a great thread. Just joined the forum today and as someone who hunts 110acres, this has made for a great read!

OutdoorBob was right... you guys have a pretty sweet forum here.
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